Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Latino Congressman shares his thoughts on Immigration

Rep. Raul Grijalva
My thoughts on fixing immigration
By Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Az

TUCSON, AZ -- The conversation we're all having about immigration reform isn't new. Congress has been talking -- and talking plenty -- about how to fix our broken immigration system for a long time. I've been proud to represent you in that conversation since I got to Congress, and now that we're on track for a real bill I'm proud to speak up for your concerns in Washington. But that's not all I'm doing.

On Jan. 28, I spoke at a great rally in Phoenix with some of our strongest allies in this fight. Groups such as Mi Familia Vota and Promise Arizona have spent years on the ground making immigration reform possible, and at this crucial moment, they're fighting to make the final product something we can be proud of, not just something we can barely live with. I'm happy to lead that fight on your behalf and I hope you'll join me in keeping up the pressure. Now is the time to make your voice heard.

I'm getting ready to introduce a whole package of border and immigration bills during the first week of February. We can't just have our say in the press, although that is an important part of our strategy. We need to be on record in Congress to remind everyone that immigration reform can't just be a code word for a triple-layer fence and Arpaio-style family raids. We have to improve our ports of entry to speed cross-border commerce and create jobs all across the country. We have to protect public land in our border areas because if Republicans get their way our wildlife preserves and national parks will be a thing of the past. We can't let that happen.

Your needs, your values and your families are what are most important in this fight. Immigration reform isn't about me -- it's about you, and it's about what kind of country we want to build. Our future can be about a more realistic, more tolerant and more inclusive society, or it can be about what a few loud conservative activists think "Real America" looks like. If you agree with me about which one you prefer, make your voice heard. I say it a lot, and it's always true: democracy doesn't work without you.

Please spread the word. People don't know how important this is unless they hear from friends and people they trust. Thanks so much for all you do.